Aloof

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THE irresponsive silence of the land,
         The irresponsive sounding of the sea,
         Speak both one message of one sense to me:--
Aloof, aloof, we stand aloof, so stand
Thou too aloof, bound with the flawless band
         Of inner solitude; we bind not thee;
         But who from thy self-chain shall set thee free?
What heart shall touch thy heart? What hand thy hand?
And I am sometimes proud and sometimes meek,
         And sometimes I remember days of old
When fellowship seem'd not so far to seek,
         And all the world and I seem'd much less cold,
         And at the rainbow's foot lay surely gold,
And hope felt strong, and life itself not weak.

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